chicken piccata with capers

You'd think after compiling hundreds of recipes in this project while accumulating many years of experience, it would be easy to think up a pleasing dinner menu for a for a few guests. However, ability to execute and the confidence to choose are apparently distinct kitchen skills, and we lack the latter for sure. This occasion was an Italian themed affair, a dinner to thank some friends who'd lived in Rome as young marrieds long ago qualifying them for our request to meet 18 year old Lorenzo at the airport in our absence to then accompany him to a one month English language study course, after which he would spend one week with us. After four weeks of "trash food" as he called it (translation: "junk food") that surrounded the dorm where he happily enjoyed a brief glimpse of the American college system, quite different from the Italian one, he was ready for some better food choices. Were we up to the task, especially since Mary Beth and Rich had false expectations of our culinary abilities?

Dead animal parts usually figure in the main course decision since we and few people we know are real vegetarians, although we like to pretend frequently. Chicken seemed like the least threatening possibility, and Cooking Light offered an Italian solution—at least the recipe has an Italian word in it. Literally "piccata" refers to a veal dish sautéed in butter with lemon and parsley, but the same process can be used with chicken so why quibble?

Ani selected this recipe and carried out the task. Bob kept his fingers crossed. The result was shockingly good. The guests loved it, and so did all the users who volunteered feedback at the Cooking Light website. Bob loved it. You will too if you have good taste in food.


dead animal part prep
4 (6-ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
1/4 c all-purpose flour (about 1 ounce)
1 T butter
1 T olive oil
sauce generators
1/2 cup white wine
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
2 T capers
2 t minced fresh garlic
1/4 t salt
1/4 t freshly ground black pepper
2 T chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley


  1. First sandwich the chicken breasts between two pieces of plastic wrap and pound them flatter, aiming for a maximum of 1/2 inch thickness.
  2. Place flour on a plate and coat the chicken breasts with it.
  3. Heat the oil and butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat and add the chicken, cooking for 3 minutes on a side or until browned.
  4. Remove from the pan but keep warm.
  5. Add the sauce generators and scrape the pan to remove remnants of the dead animal parts. Cook for about 2 minutes or until slightly thickened.
  6. Sprinkle with the finishers.
  7. Top each served breast with its share of the sauce.


  1. Serves 4.
  2. Cooking Light, September 2006, p. 200, or search their recipe finder for "chicken piccata with capers". Apparently this recipe comes from a program Work Options for Women aiming to help low income women gain financial independence.
  3. We served this dish with three reliable favorites: farro salad and arugula salad after a pasta first course: fresh whole wheat fettuccini with salsa tartufata. The Italian theme was a success, confirmed by our Roman palette equipped taste tester. To top it off, we served banana oat-nut bread  side by side with nicely softened limoncello gelato topped by fresh blueberries and raspberries.
  4. Marybeth does have a vegetarian daughter, whom she surprised with the farro salad varied slightly by the addition of some chopped sautéed mushrooms. Finally someone besides bob who actually takes this cookbook seriously.
  5. Illustrations available.
chknpiccata.htm: 18-oct-2006 [what, ME cook? © 1984 dr bob enterprises]